Neglected Georgian property brought back to life with award-winning redecoration

by Rob

Project wins Residential trophy at Johnstone’s Painter of the Year Awards

When Ian Keenan Decorators was tasked with restoring an unoccupied Georgian building in central Dublin into a grand family home, they knew they needed to do it justice. Located on the prestigious Fitzwilliam Square, which dates back to 1792 and was popular with aristocracy, the building had been broken up into office spaces, but in 2012 it was converted back into one large living space – just like it was in its heyday. However, it went unused for years, until recently when new owners recruited director Ian and the team to undertake an extensive three-month restoration project to restore the building to its former glory.

Ian said: “It was a privilege to be asked to transform this neglected property in the heart of Dublin and we couldn’t wait to get started. When we went to assess the site, the building was in a state of poor repair, so we knew we’d have to do a lot of preparatory work, but we were up for the challenge.”

Tackling the transformation

Boasting four large bedrooms, a statement master bathroom, lounge, kitchen, piano room and office, the building required painstaking preparation work to bring the walls and ceilings up to standard, before the team could put their painting skills to the test.

To ensure they achieved a durable and high-quality finish across the property, the team turned to Johnstone’s Trade, using a range of interior coatings, including Acrylic Durable Matt on the walls and ceilings, Flortred on flooring and Eggshell on woodwork. After extensive colour consultations with the client, they used over 18 decadent shades to transform the rundown building into a visual masterpiece that was reminiscent of its past yet modern and fresh. From dusky red and rich teal, to pale olive and sky blue, a myriad of elegant colours were expertly combined to deliver a varied yet cohesive scheme.

After using the products, Ian said: “Restoration projects like these require tough, versatile products that can be used across a number of surfaces and provide excellent coverage. We knew that Johnstone’s Trade could provide all of this and more, and the rich variety of colours they could offer ensured that we could transform the once dark and dilapidated building into a desirable living space.” 


Following months of hard work, the client was delighted with the quality of the finish – so much so that she has gone on to recommend Ian to many of her friends and neighbours. The project also won the praise of industry experts and decorating peers at Johnstone’s Painter of the Year Awards, taking home the top prize in the Residential category.

Ian said: “We worked very hard during the whole project and encountered some significant setbacks. The whole building had fallen into disrepair and we worked tirelessly to bring the space back to life, while maintaining its traditional aesthetic. The approval of our client was of course our main objective – and she really was impressed – but to gain recognition from the industry at Johnstone’s Painter of the Year Awards was just mind-blowing.”

Paul Farrell, marketing manager at Johnstone’s Trade, said: “Ian and the team faced a number of challenges whilst restoring this crumbling townhouse. But the results speak for themselves – their dedication resulted in a truly charming family home. The standard of decoration is superb. We’re grateful to be associated with such outstanding craftmanship and to have the quality of Johnstone’s Trade products showcased in such a beautiful way.”

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